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Ah, the Golden Mile. The words conjure up visions of grand hotels on beautiful beaches. Or Beverly Hills-like shopping experiences. But a few weeks ago in Korea, I experienced a different type of Golden Mile. I had never seen anything like it. There was at least a mile of office furniture stores, all with the wares on the sidewalk! What a strange sight driving down the road and looking at office furniture everywhere. Where did this all come from? I imagine every morning the shopkeepers need to put the chairs and desks on the sidewalk only to have to bring them back in at night. But if you ever need an office chair, I know where to go!
But the big news the week I was in Korea was the announcement by the government that the iPhone would be allowed to enter the Korean market. I’m sure this was a big decision given this is the home to Samsung and LG — big mobile phone manufacturers. And the newspapers also talked about the potential “issues” that the wireless provider, KT, would face with the users being able to bypass KT’s applications and just download applications directly to the iPhone. Oh, those over-the-top applications wreaking havoc. But given Korea has always been a broadband innovator and a mobile value-added service innovator (color ring back tones were invented here for instance), it’s welcome news for innovation. I will have more to say in my next two blogs about my trip here.